Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 18, November 11, 2012 -- Silver teflon

The name of the game today was silver teflon. One of the issues we have to contend with at float is thermal issues -- with no air and intense sun, how do we dissipate the heat generated by some of our more power-hungry electronics?

One means of doing this is by controlling the radiative properties of the object in question. As part of our gondola's thermal design, we have to apply a material we call "silver teflon", which is an adhesive tape made of teflon that is coated with a thin layer of silver on the backside, making it a second-surface mirror. The silver is a good reflector of visible light, and the teflon is a good emitter of infrared, so an object coated in silver teflon tape will actually radiate much of its heat out to the environment even if it sits in direct sunlight.

So today, a large effort was made to start coating critical components in silver teflon. Michele spent a fair amount of time covering our flight computer while Andrei and KyleH tackled the radiating panels of our liquid cooling system.

In the meantime Britt, Shaul, and others continued with the dressing of the gondola with the appropriate cables, etc.


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